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Quackle, Quartett, Quier, QuiddleGlossary of Technical Terms

This glossary aims to explain the many technical terms as used within this web site - if you think we have left something out then do let us know !

For those interested, the images come from the 1821 edition of Johnson’s Dictionary of English (American Edition) and make interesting reading...!

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5.1

Surround sound format using five loudspeakers and a sub-woofer

78s

Early analogue sound recording system using a lateral displacements of a spiral groove rotating 78 times per minute to reproduce signals

AB/MS

Stereo recording techniques using left/right (AB) or sum/difference (MS)

acoustic

The apparent sound field created by a three dimensional space

Acrobat

Text and graphics file display format by Adobe (TM)

active speaker

Loudspeaker incorporating an inbuilt power amplifier and crossover network

A-D converters

Electronic device that converts an analogue signal to a digital data stream

ADSL

Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Lines, a popular broadband data technology

agent

The promotional interface between an artist and its public

analogue

The representation of changing values as continuously variable physical quantities

archive recording

A recording made for noncommercial use

artefacts

Unnatural sounds caused by poor digital processing

d_audience

balance test

A performance or rehearsal used to set microphone placements and mixer settings

balancing

The art of microphone positioning and mixer setting to create the desired sound

barcode

A machine readable data pattern representing a unique number for each manufactured product

BBC

British Broadcasting Corporation

beauty edit

A final editing stage in which tiny background noises are removed

bit rate

Product of word length and sampling frequency - the amount of data required per second to represent a wave form

booklet

Removable paper component comprising 2-128 pages in a CD jewel case

broadband

High speed data carrier used for the internet

broadcast

Dissemination of audio and video - can be via TV, radio or the internet

carry in rig

Control room set up inside a venue rather than in an OB vehicle

CD

Compact Disc, a convenient data carrying medium

CD audio

Compact Disc used to carry audio only

CD extra

Compact Disc used to carry both audio and computer data

CD rom

Compact Disc used to carry computer data

CD-R

Once only recordable Compact Disc

CD-RW

Re-writable recordable Compact Disc

Cedar

Designers and manufacturers of restoration tools including ReTouch

cellowrap

Cellophane over wrapping on a manufactured CD or DVD

check loudspeaker

Small loudspeaker representative of those found in a domestic portable radio

d_chorus

clipping

Distortion caused by excessive signal level

closed headphones

Headphones suitable for monitoring in noisy environments

cmyk

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & BlacK - the four inks used in colour printing

codec

Algorithm used to encode and decode data

comms

communication or talk-back units

compression

Reduction in dynamic range

control room

BBC term for area where the recording equipment is set up - see studio

controlled acoustic

Acoustic where the frequency response is tailored to make it suitable for the monitoring of speech or music

CRC

Abbreviation for The Classical Recording Company Limited

cross fade

Transition between two sound events

DAT

Digital Audio Tape

data

Information represented in binary form

dBfs

Representation of signal level with respect to the maximum allowable (decibel full scale)

DDP

(Disc Description Protocol) data format for a CD or DVD Pre-master

de-rig

Removal of equipment used to make a recording

diamond disc

Very high quality type of CD-R

digital

Representation of changing values as discreet numeric quanta

direct to disc

Recording direct to the SADiE workstation

dither

Essential process used in reducing the word length of a digital signal

downlink

Transmission of data from a remote to a local system

dpi

Dots per inch as used in printing resolution

dropout

Momentary loss of data or audio

duplication

Multiple copying of CDs or DVDs - see "replication"

DVD

Digital Versatile Disc - a higher capacity version of a CD used for video and multichannel audio

DVD RAM

High speed random access rewritable DVD contained within a cartridge

dynamic range

Representation of the difference between the quietest and loudest recorded signals

EDL

Edit Decision List - data file describing the material used for an edit

editing

Process by which different takes are joined together

engineer

Person responsible for the technical aspects of recording and post production

eq

Equalisation - manipulation of frequency versus amplitude

exabyte

Bulk data storage tape format used for CD pre-masters and back up

d_fa

fade

The beginning or end of a sound event

first edit

Initial selection of the recorded session material

flac

Free Lossless Audio Codec - a way of reducing audio file size without loss of quality

FTP

File Transfer Protocol - system for moving files via the internet

glass master

First manufacturing stage in CD/DVD replication

gold cd

Mastering grade recordable CD

Group 3

BBC term for studio managers assigned to Classical Music

d_hearing

hard disc

High density computer data storage device

headphones (cans)

Sound reproduction device worn over or in the ears - can be open or closed

inlay

Captive paper part in a CD jewel case

ISDN

Integrated Services Digital Network - an international standard for end-to-end digital transmission of voice, data, and signaling

ISRC

International Standard Recording Code - unique code assigned to each track of a CD

ITU

International Telecommunications Union - established a standard for surround reproduction

jewel case

Plastic case that houses a CD or DVD

kHz

Kilohertz or 1000 Hertz - a measure of frequency

listening copy

CD copy of an edit stage for listening but not mastering

live

Concert recording where an audience is present

location

Recording taking place in a venue other than a studio

lossless compression

Reduction in size of an audio file with no loss of quality

lossy compression

Reduction in size of an audio file with some loss of quality (as in MP3)

loudspeaker

Sound reproduction device that converts electrical signal to sound pressure wave

LP

Long Playing record - see "vinyl"

magneto-optical

System where digital data is recorded magnetically but read optically - see "minidisc"

mcps

Mechanical Copyright Protection Society - body that distributes royalty payments to writers and publishers of music

microphone

Device for converting sound pressure wave to an electronic signal

Minidisc

Audio recording format using ATRAC lossy compression to store data on a small magneto-optical disc

mixed mode

Format for CDs that contain both audio and computer data

mixing

Combining of multiple signals to create stereo or surround audio

monitor

Loudspeaker

monitoring room

see "control room"

mono

Sound reproduction using one channel of audio

monoline

Standalone production line for the replication of CDs or DVDs

MP3

Popular standard for the lossy compression of audio

multi track

Recording of three or more channels of audio for subsequent mixing

d_musician

noise reduction

Reduction of background noise

noise shape

System for applying dither to a signal

non-destructive edit

System for editing where junctions between takes can be repeatedly adjusted

OB

BBC term for Outside Broadcast

offset litho

Four colour printing system

on body

Printing directly onto the surface of a CD or DVD

out take

Recorded section not to be used

over control

Manual reduction of dynamic range to make audio suitable for broadcast

PA

Public Address - amplification system for speech or music

patch

Re-recording of a short section to correct a mistake or problem

pcm

Pulse Code Modulation - standard method of encoding analog audio signals in digital form

pdf

File format used by Adobe's Acrobat software

playback

Replay of a recording to the artistes

d_player

Plextor

Manufacturer of high quality CD and DVD burners

pmcd

Pre Master Compact Disc - CD created as a master for replication or duplication

podcast

Method of publishing files to the Internet, allowing users to receive new files automatically by subscription, usually at no cost.

Post production

Generic term for editing, mixing and mastering of audio

POTS

Plain Old Telephone Service - the standard analog telephone service

PPM

Peak Program Meter - BBC device to measure the perceived level of an analogue signal

PQ

Subcode information used in Compact Disc mastering

pre-amp

Electrical circuit for increasing the minute electrical signals produced by microphones

pre-master

CD or DVD prepared specifically for replication or duplication

producer

Person responsible for the artistic aspects of recording and post production

proof reading

Checking of text and layout to find errors and inconsistencies

quadrophonic

Audio reproduction using four channels to create a two dimensional sound field

real time

Processing of audio at the speed at which it is heard

red light/cue light

Visual indicator used during a recording session

rehearse/record

Recording session where each item is both rehearsed and recorded during the session time

replication

CD or DVD manufacturing process - see "duplication"

requantisation

Recalculation of digital sample values following processing

restoration

Removal of unwanted signal components

re-take

Re-recording of a section to correct a mistake or problem

ReTouch

Cedar's revolutionary system for noise removal

reverb

Reverberation - reflected sounds that characterise a three dimensional space

rig

(noun) equipment used to make a recording 
(verb) setting up of equipment used to make a recording

RSS

Rich Site Summary - an XML-based vocabulary that specifies a means of sharing news headlines and other content

running order

Order of items in a broadcast or on a CD

SADiE

Manufacturer of editing workstations

sampling rate

Frequency with which the amplitude of an analogue signal is measured - see "word length"

second edit

Refining of the first edit, usually with the artist present

scanner

BBC term for an television outside broadcast vehicle

session

Period for recording - usually a 3 hour block

Skype

System for voice-over-IP telephony

d_sound

splice

Joining of two pieces of magnetic tape

Sprint

Sadie Print - a program for creating printed parts from a PMCD PQ list

steinway

Manufacturer of very fine pianos

stereo

Sound reproduction using two channels of audio to create a pseudo two dimensional sound field

studio

Recording area for the performers - see control room

sub woofer

Loudspeaker for reproducing low bass frequencies only

subcode

Data used by CDs to identify start and end of tracks and other information - see "ISRC"

surround

Sound reproduction using four or more channels to create a multi dimensional sound field

swap drive

Internet based file sharing system

swish

Characteristic surface noise of vinyl LPs and 78s

take

Individual performance of a recorded section

talkback

Communication system from the control room to the studio

tempo

Speed of a musical passage

tie lines

Electronic circuits between studio or recording venue and control room

timbre

Characteristic quality of a particular sound or instrument

tonmeister

Person trained in production and/or engineering of music

track

[1] Section of a CD 
[2] Recording channel in a multi channel system - see "mutitrack"

uncompressed

Data file that retains all of its original information regardless of file size

uplink

Transmission of data from a local to a remote system

VCS

Leading manufacturer for video, audio and data transmission and recording systems used by the BBC

vinyl

Analogue sound recording using a lateral displacements of a spiral groove to reproduce signals

d_violin

voice-over-ip

Protocol for conducting telephone conversations over the internet

winzip

Computer program for encoding and decoding Zip files

WMA

Popular standard for the lossy compression of audio promoted by Microsoft

word length

Accuracy with which an analogue signal is measured - see "sampling rate"

workstation

Computer system for audio post production

XML

Extensible Markup Language - flexible way to create & share information and the data on the World Wide Web

yiddish

Language based on German, Hebrew and Balto-Slavic languages, spoken by the majority of Jews in Eastern Europe before the Second World War

d_zero

zip file

Lossless compression format for computer data

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